Catalogue Presentation and Discussion
TIME & LOCATION
15 October 2007, 7 p.m.
Depot , Breite Gasse 3, 1070 Vienna
On Contemporary Art Galleries and Internet Art
Luis Silva, curator, theorist and freelance author
The Politics of Curating
Joasia Krysa, curator, lecturer in “Art&Technology” at the University of Plymouth
Kurator Software, Version Beta 1.0
Duncan Shingleton, digital artist, programmer
CONT3XT.NET, Vienna-based platform for (New) Media Art
EXTENDED CURATORIAL PRACTICES ON THE INTERNET
On October 15th 2007, CONT3XT.NET presents the catalogue “CURATING MEDIA/NET/ART” and discusses contemporary concepts of curating and displaying (New) Media Art.
Curating Internet-based Art in a media of its own developed into a multifaceted communication process on content among users of all backgrounds and provenances. Net curators are deemed “cultural context providers”, “meta artists”, “power users”, “filter feeders” or simply “proactive consumers”. “Curating (on) the web”, as termed it in 1998 already, not only creates a public space for Net Art protagonists, but also enables them to participate in creating their own public space, which often takes on the form of discursive models. Handling technological developments and knowledge about existing channels of communication are integral parts of net curating, as are providing resources, initiating collaborations and remaining in contact with international networks.
Expanding the curators’ field of action – allowing them to incorporate more than the supervision, contextualisation and exhibition of artwork in museums, galleries or off spaces – is closely linked to the media-specific characteristics of art produced on the Internet. Internet Art does not necessarily have to be presented in a customary exhibition space, because as long as there is a computer with Internet access, it can be accessed anywhere any time. In many cases, Net Art emerges through the participation of an audience with diverse approaches to the Internet, which comments on, transforms and disseminates the artworks in many different ways. In addition, the somewhat rather communicative mechanisms on which this art is based are simultaneously its subject, thus allowing it to function as a reciprocal “feedback loop” between the original author and the user.
In the 20th century, the numerous postulations on the end of authorship and the end of concept of the “work of art” as a definable entity with a definable set of limits (Werkbegriff) gave way to a discourse–which, in turn, is constituted through its own development and reception processes–as they also accompany the advancement and visualisation of these very processes. In this vein, curators are those “who set up contexts for artists who provide contexts”.
In contrast to the late 1990s when Net-based Art was celebrated as avant-garde spectacles, today Technology-based Art views for the attention of a broader public interested in art. Higher demands are made on curators to include these art forms in conventional exhibitions, which simultaneously poses several problems: “curating immateriality”, a term postulated a few years ago, is faced with immense technological challenges and at present theoretical groundwork is being laid for providing ways of addressing Technology-based Art that extend beyond viewing them as “Techno Art” and the tacit implication that “The Medium is the Message”.